Paul DeMarco Receives Spirit of America Award

Miramar Beach, FL – The National Grocers Association has presented Paul DeMarco with its prestigious Spirit of America Award, recognizing his commitment to the independent grocery industry.

DeMarco, general counsel to the Alabama Grocers Association and a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives, received the award July 11, 2023, during AGA’s annual show at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Fla.

“Throughout his distinguished legal career and as a state legislator, Paul has always given his full support to Alabama’s grocery industry,” said Ellie Taylor, AGA president and CEO. “He exemplifies the zeal, the concern and the commitment that make our community and our country great.”

Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO, added, “We are grateful for Paul’s leadership and diligent efforts to advocate for the independent food distribution industry.”

DeMarco primarily practices in the defense of premises liability, products liability, construction law, workers compensation, medical and pharmaceutical malpractice, and automobile and truck liability claims. He is also a registered mediator with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.

A native of Birmingham, DeMarco graduated from Auburn University in 1990 cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He then graduated from University of Alabama School of Law in 1993 before returning to Birmingham to work at the law firm of Parsons, Lee & Juliano.

In 2005, he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives, where he served for nine years. He chaired the House Judiciary Committee from 2010 to 2014, and also served as chairman of the Joint Alabama Legislature Committee on Homeland Security.

In addition to AGA, DeMarco has served as counsel for numerous businesses in the hospitality industry across the state of Alabama and is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Transportation Lawyers Associations and Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He has also advised on operational and risk management issues for the retail and hospitality industry.

Established in 1982, the NGA Spirit of America Award honors key industry and community leaders in the areas of community service and government relations on behalf of the independent supermarket industry. NGA has proudly presented this award to distinguished individuals who serve the grocery industry and the public interest, including Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.


About the Alabama Grocers Association

The Alabama Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the grocery retail industry since 1990. With more than 100 retail members operating over 850 stores statewide, as well as over 225 manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers and other members, the AGA is the voice of the industry in the state of Alabama. The food retail industry in Alabama provides more than 70,000 jobs with over $2.2 billion in annual wages paid. Grocers pay more than $1.2 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of over $12 billion. For more information, visit

About NGA

Washington, D.C.-based NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit